Beyond human imagination: How AI is pushing the boundaries of entertainment

NME | MARCH 2023

Ever wondered what you’d look like as an elf? Or wished a personalised piece of music soundtracked your day? Or that someone would write a love poem about you? With artificial intelligence tools (AI) you can create all these things before your next coffee. I’ll get OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI text tool to “write” a haiku for you:

“Words on a page shine,
Eyes dance with the lines you’ve read,
Thank you, dear reader.”

ChatGPT and similar AI tools have been making headlines recently because they’re now easier to access and use than ever before – ChatGPT’s user base has grown by a mind-blowing 100 million users in only a few months.

These tools are also incredibly convincing – you’d have believed the haiku above was written by a person if you didn’t know otherwise, right? The potential for AI in arts and entertainment is exciting, but people are worried. Creators are concerned their roles are being replaced by machines. Teachers are already banning AI tools in schools whilst researchers learn it’s almost impossible to differentiate between human written and AI produced text.

Granted new technology is often perceived as a threat to creative authenticity. Back in the day, reactions to early synthesisers were hilariously dramatic, with some claiming these “soulless machines” make sounds that “come from a world in which there are no humans, only devilish beings.”

It’s easy to shrug worries about AI off as more fear of innovation and limitless creativity on demand sounds like a dream come true to many. But this tech is evolving so quickly that we run the risk of ignoring genuine concerns about the future of AI. Like, how do we navigate the legal minefield of deepfakes? Who truly owns AI-generated content? Are people in the creative industries about to be permanently out of a job? And is the stuff that AI makes really any good?

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